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Jobs Plentiful For Now, But The Outlook For Jobs And Earnings Dims.

Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence, June quarter 2022

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index fell 5 points in the June quarter to a level of 108.5. This was the first fall in employment confidence since June 2020, when the country had just experienced the first Covid-19 lockdown.

“Perceptions about current job opportunities remain the strong point of the index, and the only component to record a rise in the June quarter,” said Michael Gordon, Acting Chief Economist for Westpac. “Job vacancies continue to rise, and businesses are finding it even harder to retain or replace workers as the international border has reopened.”

However, the other components of the survey were softer in June, with a decline in perceptions about job security, future job opportunities, and past and future earnings growth.

“Overall, employment confidence has held up at a reasonably high level,” said Mr Gordon. “That’s in stark contrast with the consumer confidence results released earlier this week, which fell to the lowest in the history of the survey going back to 1988.”

“Taking these results together suggests that while the risk of recession is playing on some people’s minds, it’s the cost-of-living squeeze that is doing the most damage to confidence,” said Mr Gordon.

“Confidence amongst employees working in the public sector has seen a considerable drop this June quarter, down 17.9 points to 110.3. In contrast, confidence amongst private sector employees sits almost level with last quarter at 106.4,” observed Imogen Rendall, Market Research Director of McDermott Miller Limited. “Both private and public sector employees are concerned about future job opportunities, while public sector employees are now much more cautious about their personal job security over the coming year compared with last quarter’s results,” commented Ms Rendall.

“When looking across the different demographic groups, some big drops in confidence have been seen amongst men (down 11.2 points to 108.9) and amongst those aged 30 to 49 years (down 10.5 points to 105.6). Although both groups remain positive, they are clearly concerned about what the future holds,” noted Ms Rendall.

A full description of the background and specifications of the survey are attached. The survey was conducted over 1-14 June 2022, with a sample size of 1,559. An index number over 100 indicates that optimists outnumber pessimists. The margin of error of the survey is 2.5%.

Acknowledgement

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index is owned by McDermott Miller Limited. Westpac McDermott Miller should be acknowledged as the source when citing the Employment Confidence Survey and Index. Graphs supplied may be reproduced by the news media provided the Westpac McDermott Miller logo remains inset.

 

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